The teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. has been steadily declining since 1991. Until recently. A CDC study released last week shows that teen pregnancies have actually been on the rise in recent years, and are holding steady.
One big change: More people think teenage pregnancy is a good thing.
The survey showed a huge jump in the number of teen boys and girls who thought it was fine for a teenage girl to be pregnant. Around 70% of girls and 65% of boys said they were okay with it.
The other big (and perhaps related) change was the number of teens who reported using the rhythm method for birth control, which has risen significantly. The rhythm method is not considered particularly unreliable for young women, who may not have totally regular cycles, or be as stringent as required for maximum effectiveness.
The CDC isn’t clear on why this rise is happening. Some have suggested that there’s a correlation to high profile teen pregnancies in the media, from Juno to Britney to Bristol Palin. So if the next survey shows a drop in the teen pregnancy rate, can we assume it’s due to MTV’s scary 16 and Pregnant?